Battle of Ciudad Real
|Battle of Ciudad Real|
|Part of the Peninsular War|
| French Empire
Duchy of Warsaw
|Kingdom of Spain|
|Commanders and leaders|
|General Sebastiani||Conde de Cartaojal|
|12 000||19 000|
|Casualties and losses|
|unknown but light||2000 killed and wounded|
French 4th Corps (with attached Polish division under general Valance) had to cross the bridge over the Guadiana River which was defended by the Spanish corps of Count Urbino Cartaojal. Polish lancers of the Legion of the Vistula under colonel Jan Konopka charged through the bridge taking it by surprise, then outflanked Spanish infantry and attacked it from behind as the main French and Polish forces crossed the bridge, and attacked the Spanish front lines.
The battle was over when undisciplined Spanish soldiers dispersed, and began to retreat in the direction of Santa Cruz. Józef Rudnicki, adiutant-major of the 4th Infantry Regiment of the Legion, described the battle in his diaries (spelling according to the original):
"as soon as the French regiments of the 4th Corps met our division, we rushed immediately toward the Consiegra and Cuidat-Real, before of which town we found the Spanish corps, waiting for us on good positions. We were outnumbered, but thank to the rational orders of the general Sebastjani, in some od four hours on 27 March 1809 the Spaniards were defeated and dispersed. They were retreating in chaos toward Almagro, where the Order of Calatrava has its home, and toward the S-ta Cruse, and even further, into the Sierramorena Mountains."
The Spanish corps lost some 2000 men killed or wounded and many more were taken prisoner. After the battle the count of Cartojal was deprived of command for incompetency, and replaced by general Venegas, hero of the Spanish War of Independence, and later the viceroy of New Spain.
References and footnotes
- Memoires of Józef Rudnicki [in:] Pismo Zbiorowe Wileńskie for the year 1862, p. 64
- Michael Glover: The Peninsular War 1807-1814, London, Penguin 2001, ISBN 0-14-139041-7
- Marian Kukiel: Dzieje oręża polskiego w epoce napoleońskiej, Poznań 1912/repr. 1998, ISBN 83-86600-51-9